Category Archives: Dallas

The Cloud V of Waxahachie, TX

The Cloud V, August 1967, from top left: Eddie Lord, Charles McCutchen, Gary French and Gene Lord, with Bob Walker seated in front
The Cloud V, August 1967, from top left: Eddie Lord, Charles McCutchen, Gary French and Gene Lord, with Bob Walker seated in front

The Waxahachie news in August, 1967 featured the Could V, who were competing in a Battle of the Bands at Getzendaner Memorial Park. Waxahachie, Texas is a town about 30 miles to the south of the center of Dallas.

Members were:

Eddie Lord – rhythm guitar
Charles McCutchen – organ
Gary French – bass
Gene Lord – lead guitar
Bob Walker – drums

They did not record to my knowledge.

Theze Few

Theze Few, March 1967, Dan Seals, Buddy Lay, Larry Stevens, Mike Woolbright, John Colley
Theze Few, March 1967

Theze Few formed in Dallas and cut one single for the BlacKnight label in 1966, “Dynamite” / “I Want Your Love”. Dan Seals wrote both songs, though the labels mistakenly list his name as D. Feals, published by Tall Pine BMI.

Members of the band were:

Danny Seals – saxophone
Larry Stevens – lead guitar
John Colley – piano
Mike Woolbright – bass
Buddy Lay – drums

By the 1968 Irving Teen-A-Go-Go, the band had changed their name to the Southwest F.O.B.

The blog …from the rear view mirror… quoted the Dallas Morning News from when Dan passed away in 2009:

Dan Seals, 61, was born in West Texas but moved to Dallas as a teenager. He graduated from Samuell High School in Pleasant Grove in 1966. He and classmate John Colley, who later changed the spelling of his last name to Coley, formed a group with three other Samuell students called the Playboys Five. That became Theze Few, which morphed into the legendary Dallas high school band Southwest F.O.B.

As the friendship blossomed, Seals’ brother Jim was emerging as a musical superstar. Jim Seals was part of the multi-platinum-selling duo Seals & Crofts. But Dan Seals and Coley would soon put their own stamp on music.

They formed England Dan & John Ford Coley and became the toast of 1976 when their single, “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” and album, Nights are Forever, became gold records, meaning each sold more than 500,000 copies.

Lonestar Stomp covered the Seals family, including brother Jimmy and father Wayland.

The Sensations

The Sensations Dallas PhotoMike Cooper sent in this photo of the Sensations, who were one of the bands on a list of groups playing the Texas State Fair in 1967.

Mike wrote to me about the band:

Roe Cree – lead singer, rhythm guitar
Mike Nelson – lead guitar and vocals
Mike Cooper – bass and vocals
Richard Schulze – drums and vocals

All alive and kicking. Played around Dallas from 1964 to 1968, Studio Club regular. We recorded three songs written by Mike Jones but they never went past demo [“Father Brown,” “The Kind of Girl,” “Gone Tomorrow”]. All of us did vocals and that was one thing that we felt set us apart from some groups was the harmonies. Roe sang lead but the others sang back up three and sometimes four part.

We played similar venues as groups like The Novas, The Briks, Kenny and The Kasuals. We never called them rivals because we were all friends. Mike Nelson plays gigs with Kenny yet today.

From the Sensations Mike Nelson went on to play with Gladstone who had a top 20 song “A Piece of Paper” in 1973. Later he became founder and owner of Boomerang Musical Products.

Roe Cree went on with Rose Colored Glass. They had a top ten hit “Can’t Find The Time,” 1971. They played American Bandstand. Roe said Dick Clark was one of the nicest guy he had ever met.

Mike Cooper and Richard Schulze did not continue to pursue music.

Roe Cree’s brother Joe was in the U.S. Britons with Mike Jones, Larry McNeny, Herman Drees and Larry Meletio.

The Sensations on stage

The Sensations Sensations Reunion Photo

The Tortians and the De’Vells

The De’Vells from Irving, Texas, from left: Joel Reiner, Rick Surratt, Dicky McDonald, John Tincher, Carl Lowe and Little David.

To the long list of great 45s out of Dallas, add The Tortians’ “Red Cadillac”. The band lays down a chunky groove that never sounds rushed, as John Tincher shouts out the lyrics and plays some fantastic harmonica.

The band was actually from Oak Cliff, but this rare single was released on Karry Way Records, with an address of 4339 Jaffee, Dallas, 75216. The RCA custom pressing code, T4KM-9629/30 indicates it was mastered in the first half of 1966. Woodrow Pearson Baker wrote both “Red Cadillac” and the flip “Vibrations” (which I haven’t heard yet), published by Rightway Pub., BMI.

Guitarist Richard McDonald sent me a photo of his next group, the De’Vells, based in Irving but with some of the same members as the Tortians. Richard has a full bio on the bands at his site SpiritSteelGuitar.com, but I asked him some specifics about the Tortians and he kindly answered my questions.

My name is Richard (Dicky) McDonald. I was born and raised in a little suburb in Dallas, Texas called Oak Cliff. A lot of fine musicians and bands came from that area of Dallas like the Mystics, Kempy and the Guardians, the Jokers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, B.W. Stevenson, Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Micheal Martin Murphey and others.

The band formed in Adamson High School in Oak Cliff around 1965, our freshman year. I played lead guitar. The Tortians were James King (rhythm guitar), Johnny Congleton (drums), Carl Lowe (bass), Dick McDonald (lead guitar), Gary McDonald (backup vocals) and John Tincher (lead vocals and sax).

We all played what ever was being played on the radio and some older stuff that we grew up with: Ventures, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Fats Domino. Duane Eddy. Most bands in Oak Cliff played pretty much the same stuff. That’s all we had besides country, big band, classical. Whatever band listened to the radio and figured out the songs first was the top band. It was Robert Farris of The Mystics who could figure stuff out fast.

How the record came to be. We were playing a gig at a roller rink I think the Shamrock in Lancastor, TX. Woody P. Baker was out listening to bands and asked if we would record some of his songs and we said yes. Woody set up and paid for the studio time. The Tortians were not signed by Kerry Way Records. I don’t remember the name of the studio but, it was the same studio where “Wine Wine Wine” was recorded by the Night Caps. Woody P. Baker wrote both “Red Cadillac” and “Vibrations”.

There are no pictures of the Tortians and I hope someone sees your website and has some.

I also played in a very hot band called the De’vells and I do have a picture of them. Most of the De’Vells played in the Tortians. The De’vells were Joel Reiner (drums), Rick Surratt (lead guitar), Dicky McDonald (lead guitar), John Tincher (lead vocals/sax), Carl Lowe (bass/vocals), and Little David (keyboards/vocals). This band won 2nd place in the 1967 Battle of the Bands at the State Fair of Texas, and got a trophy which We still have. I am surprised that we were not listed in the newspaper clipping on the website [see this page]. We were booked by an booking agency called Showco in Dallas.

Most of the original members still live very close to Oak Cliff. I have a pedal steel guitar shop in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Richard McDonald
Spirit Steel Guitar
Broken Arrow, OK

The DeVells to play at the Olney High School Homecoming, October 25, 1968

The Kavemen

Kavemen, Dallas 1965
The Kavemen, Dallas 1965 from left to right: Roland Allen, Jimmy Allen, Rodney Vinyard, Tommy Fonseca, Bill Walden & Jerry Colwell

Roland Allen – vocals
Jimmy Allen – vocals
Rodney Vineyard – lead guitar
Tommy Fonseca – rhythm guitar
Jerry Colwell – bass
Bill Walden – drums

The Kavemen came from the southeastern section of Dallas, Texas. Jerry Colwell had discussed the Kavemen in a longer interview about his career with Kit and the Outlaws and other bands:

Later joined the #1 Dallas band The Cavemen [sic] and played battle of the bands against Jimmy Vaughan and his band, and the Royals and others. In 1965 the Cavemen was the home band for a Night club “Surfers A Go Go” in Dallas, where we played with Chuck Berry, Roy Head, the original Drifters, Jimmy Velvet and Johnny Green and the Greenmen. We played at clubs all over Texas, my favorites were the “Bamboo Hut” in Galveston, and “Panther Hall” in Fort Worth, a televised event every week. We also played at Louanns many times.

As it turns out, they recorded four songs at Sumet Sound Studios which were never released. Carlene Fonseca sent me the songs from their unreleased acetate and passed along this info from her ex-husband Tommy Fonseca:

The band got together first as an instrumental group playing at Twilight Time Skating Rink, in Dallas, TX and playing for high school dances at H. Grady Spruce High School and E. B. Comstock Junior High. Jimmy and Roland Allen were singers and they went to Spruce Hi and heard the band and offered to sing for them.

The recording was done at Summit [Sumet] in Dallas. The recordings were not released. The jumps & skips are because of a defect in the master dub. Tommy said somebody dropped it and it was chipped at the spot where the 1st song was on the 1st side and the 1st song on the flip side.

Rodney Vineyard, the lead guitar, left the group to play with Sunny Satin and the Mysterians. The Kavemen couldn’t find another lead guitar so they broke up. When the studio was ready to release it they declined since the group was no longer together.

Tommy recently spoke to Roland Allen. He lives in Gun Barrel City and he told Tommy that Jimmy had passed away the just the week before. We cannot locate Bill. He was the drummer. Rodney lives in Balch Springs, TX and he still plays for VFW Posts occasionally.

Because of the chip in the lacquer, my favorite song “Can’t You See” suffers from skips and drop-outs for the first thirty seconds. Same with the first song on the second side, “Why”. The other two, “Without You”, and “I Feel the Same” are fine. I’m hoping to get a photo or scan of the acetate labels. Despite the flaws, these are fantastic examples of mid-60s Texas rock ‘n roll!

The Kavemen – Can’t You See
The Kavemen – Without You
The Kavemen – Why
The Kavemen – I Feel the Same

Knight Records, Dallas Texas

Knight Records discography:

1046 – Bob Haydon – “Suzanne” / “Gonna Go (Gonna Leave Ya)” (both written by Bob Haydon; July 1, 1964)
1047 – Abby Anderson – “(We Were) Sittin’ in the Balcony” (Lewis Lindsey) / “My Love”
1048 – Lewis Lindsey – “Girls Always Break My Heart” / T”he Promise” (written and arranged by L. Lindsey)
1049 – Jimmy Rabbit with Ron and Dea – “Pushover” / “Wait and See”
1050 – The Knights – “Stay” / “I Know It Now” (both by B. Kissell)
1051 – ?
1052 – Jimmy Rabbit – “Wishy-Washy Woman” / “My Girl” (both by Ron Price, arranged by Bob Rambo)

4121-31 – The Knights – “Only You Hold the Answer” (Dick and Bob Kisslle [sic]) / “Walkin’ The Streets” (Bob Kisslle [sic]) published by Pinent Music, BMI and recorded at Dayson Studio in East Syracuse, NY

Any help with additions or corrections to this discography would be appreciated.

Bob Sanders ran the Knight and Spectra labels, among others, during the mid-’60s in Dallas, Texas. The two Jimmy Rabbit singles are probably the best, though I haven’t heard the Abby Anderson 45, described as doo wop.

See the earlier articles on this site for more on Jimmy Rabbit, the Mystics (on Spectra) and the Knights.

Bob Haydon had the first 45 that I know of on Knight, released in mid-1964. “Suzanne” never made much impression on me, but “Gonna Go (Gonna Leave Ya)” has an easy mix of country and pop sounds.

Lewis Lindsey was either co-owner or had some position with the label. Jimmy Rabbit called the Knight label’s studio “Sand-Lin”, though I haven’t seen that name cited by anyone else.

Lindsey co-wrote “Sittin’ in the Balcony” for Abby Anderson, and co-wrote both sides of the Jimmy Rabbit 45, as well as being in Rabbit’s band at the time. For his own Knight single Lindsey wrote and arranged “The Promise”, a pop number with big production. Lewis Lindsey had another release on Vandan VR-7742, “Wish It Could Be Me” / “Is It Love” that I haven’t heard.

All of the above except the second Knights 45 (4121-31) produced by Bob Sanders with publishing by Fieldcrest Music, BMI, often the credits say “An Empire Production”. I would assume the Knights “Only You Hold the Answer” was their own production back in New York, however the logo is exact and their names are misspelled on the song writing credits.

There’s no connection to the Tampa, Florida Knight label that released 45s by the Tropics, Mods and Outsiders or the Wilmington, Delaware label with a release by the Spectrums, “I’ll Never Fear” (D. Stewart) / “Wine, Wine, Wine” recorded at Ken-Del Studios.

Many thanks to Brian Kirschenbaum for alerting me to the Knights 45, and to Tommy “MrTeenSwe” for his help with the Lewis Lindsey 45 info.

The Knights – from upstate New York to Dallas, Texas

Bob Sanders ran the Knight and Spectra labels, among others, during the mid-’60s in Dallas, Texas.

The Knights 45 was completely unfamiliar to me until Brian Kirschenbaum wrote to me with the scan and transfers of the record. He was surprised to find a Texas 45 had made its way to upstate New York. It’s an interesting single, very much influenced by the British sounds of the time in changes and feel, especially on “I Know It Now”. Bob Kissell wrote both sides.

I had no information on the group until a couple comments were left (see below). As it turns out, this band made an unlikely journey from upstate New York to work in Dallas, Texas. In Watertown they were known as Dick and the Knights.

I’ll repeat most of Dick Kissell’s comment here:

The group consisted of Chuck Martuzas, bass (now deceased); Bob Lawlor, drums; Bob Kissell, lead guitar; and myself on rhythm guitar. The vocals were done by Bob and myself.

On a whim, we went to Dallas in the fall of 1964 because we had a friend down there who said he might be able to help us find some local clubs needing bands. We started out at a place called The Haunted House Club then moved on to the Disc-A Go Go and eventually LouAnns. We became house band at LouAnns.

Lewis Lindsey played the organ part on the “Stay” side. A guy named Bill Petty was friends with Lewis Lindsey and was also part owner in the Haunted House club; that’s how we got the recording deal. Only 300 copies were pressed. Later the following year, we became friends with The 5 Americans and played around Dallas for awhile until returning home.

Dick Kissell added in an email to me:

The single “Only You Hold The Answer” was a regional hit for us around 1967. My brother Bob Kissell wrote the melody while I wrote the lyrics. He plays (blues) around the Daytona Florida area in the winter, and then comes home and plays here (Watertown, NY) summers.

The Knights second single, “Only You Hold the Answer” b/w “Walkin’ The Streets” may have been their own production with no involvement from Bob Sanders of Knight Records in Dallas. The labels credit their last name as Kisslle (sic). The single had publishing by Pinent Music, BMI and the band recorded it at Dayson Studio in East Syracuse, NY.

Many thanks to Brian Kirschenbaum for alerting me to the Knights 45 and to retrogirl86 for the info in her comment.

List of bands at the Texas State Fair in Dallas, October 1967

Times-Herald, Oct. ’67 list of bands at the Action Spot

The above clipping was sent to me by Rollie Anderson of Dust, showing close to 60 bands that competed at the October, 1967 Texas State Fair in Dallas. Not all the bands were from Dallas or Fort Worth, though I suspect most of them were.

I think it’s worth listing all these groups to see how many we know anything about – I only know about a handful of these groups. To see photos of the Action Spot stage, see the article on the Mind’s Eye.

If anyone can help with info on any of these, please write to me at chas_kit@hotmail.com or leave a comment below.

Blue Green
Blue Moon
Brand “X”
– There was a Brand X from El Paso that featured Ken Prichard of Danny & the Counts. However, Ken told me they didn’t play this event.
The Caretakers
The Coachmen
– likely the group from Ft. Worth who recorded the instrumental “Splash Day” for Spotlight, though it could be the Coachmen from New Mexico who recorded “Grapes of Wrath” / “Summer Should Bring Happiness” for Sea-Ell. The Coachmen from Abilene had broken up by this time.
The Colonists
Dust
– see Rollie’s article on this site.
The Destinations
Don and the Demons
– according to a comment below, Don & the Demons came from McKinney, TX and recorded a version of “Walking the Dog” on the the Gibson label which I haven’t heard.
Execution of Time
Joey Farr and the Orbitors
– As Tommy “Rockin’ Bones” points out in a comment below, this is probably a later band of Little Joey Farr who had releases on the Houston label Kangaroo and the Colorado label Band Box.
5th Amendment
John Foster’s Group
The Gentle Rebellion
The Gents
– from either Dallas/Ft. Worth or as far away as Abilene – 45 on E.V.E. label in 1966
Gingerbread Blues
The Henchmen
– definitely not this New Mexico band
The Herd
Hillsboro Group
HMS Blues
Hunters of Time
Images
The Jazz Informers
The Kaces
Kempy and the Guardians
– Oak Cliff group named after vocalist Gary “Kempy” Rawlings, they recorded the legendary “Love For A Price” / “Never”. Larry Samford may have been another member
The Kicks
Killeen String Band
The Kolumn
– from Lancaster, TX – see comment below
Lunatic Fringe
Main Street Prophets
The Merchants
Mind’s Eye
– not listed in the article but see photos of the band onstage at the Action Spot
New World
Night Creepers
Noise Inc.
The Off Beats
– There was an Offbeats who cut “Drenda Ann” / “Chaos” (both by John Brodie) on the Cherokee label from Arlington, but I don’t know the year for that. Another possibility is Jimmy & the Offbeats who recorded for Bofuz. Less likely is James De Fore, a San Antonio artist who cut 45s as Jimmy Dee & the Off Beats in the late ’50s.
Owsley
The Pagans
– from Carrollton, NW of Dallas, according to a cousin of three of the members
The Playboys Five
Prisoners of Love
The Reasons Why
– possibly the Temple group who recorded the excellent “Don’t Be That Way” for the Sound Track label. John Schwertner went into the Lavender Express.
The Reflections
Reining Daze
Satin and the Soul Men
The Sensations
– see the article on this site.
The Shade – see the article on this site.
Sound in Motion – aka the Sounds in Motion – see Howard and Steve’s comments below.
Don Sperry Quartet
Starlight Group
The Tyme Keepers
The Unclaimed Freight
The Untamed
U.S. Bonds
U.S. Britons
– Dallas group featuring fifteen-year-old Mike Jones. They cut two original songs “Come On” and “I’ll Show You a Man” that exist on demo acetate as far as I can tell. Both songs were highlights of Green Crystal Ties vol. 3. The band played throughout Dallas, including at the Studio Club. The band included Larry McNeny, Larry Meletio (drums), Herman Drees (guitar), Joe Cree (bass) and Mike Jones (guitar). See below for more info.
Walter Vaughn
The Westminsters
The Young Texans
– likely from Grand Prairie, with Jim Koof (Kopf?), vocals; Dennis Stark, lead guitar; Don Booker, lead and rhythm guitar; Bobby Head, bass; Jerry Head, drums. See this clipping

Larry McNeny wrote to me about the U.S. Britons:

I had heard about that compilation but never heard the record. I started the band with Larry Meletio in Jr. High. Mike Jones was in a band with Joe Cree (Rowe’s little brother) and [both] eventually joined us. Mike was a fluent songwriter. He’d call me several times a week and play me a new song he’d just written for us. He also had a great 442!

Oddly enough I remember that State Fair gig. Also I noticed a pre-US Britons band of mine on a newspaper ad for a show for Jas. K Wilson (a clothing store) where we played with 5 of a Kind, The Galaxies & the Rogues. We were called the Roamers! I honestly don’t know where we came up with these names!

Larry McNeny

Thanks to Mike Markesich for the info on the Gents and for reminding me of the U.S. Britons.